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REVIEW SUMMARY

Utmost International Professional Portfolio Plan

Guernsey-based Generali Worldwide has officially been named Utmost International (Utmost International have completed 11 acquisitions over 5 years). 

Utmost International is a life assurance group that provides solutions designed to preserve clients’ assets. Headquartered in London, they operate from eight offices around the world with life insurance entities based in Ireland, the Isle of Man and Guernsey. Their principal business lines are Utmost Wealth Solutions and Utmost Corporate Solutions. 

The Professional Portfolio Plan is offered by Utmost Wealth Solutions.

Utmost Wealth Solutions provides insurance-based solutions aimed at high-net-worth individuals who want to sustain and pass on their wealth. 'Wealth solutions' is essentially their core business. 

Overview
FAQ
Customer Reviews
Expert Verdict

The Professional Portfolio Plan (formerly known as Generali Worldwide Professional Portfolio Bond) is a single contribution, investment-linked, open-architecture product where the benefits are linked to the performance of a portfolio of investment assets.

Utmost International says that this plan is suitable if you have a medium to long-term investment outlook.

The minimum investment amount for the plan is US$150,000 (or currency equivalent) in a lump sum contribution or investment assets, or a combination of both.

Utmost International's Professional Portfolio Plan has two types:

  1. Whole of Life Plan
  2. Capital Redemption Plan

1. Whole of Life Plan:

In this type, the plan is written as a life insurance plan written on a whole-of life basis, which pays a death benefit in the event of death.

2. Capital Redemption Plan:

The Professional Portfolio Plan can be written as a capital redemption plan with a fixed term of 99 years after which a maturity benefit is paid.

Features of Utmost International's Professional Portfolio Plan:

  • Once you have applied for it, they offer instant access to your plan details via their Online Service Centre.
  • Planholder protection is offered through Guernsey’s ‘policyholder protection regime’.
  • The Professional Portfolio Plan facilitates regular withdrawals.
  • There are no fixed investment or notice periods imposed by Utmost Wealth Solutions but you must be aware that certain charges, e.g. early discontinuance charges, may apply on partial and/or full surrender and, in exceptional circumstances, delays may arise in the payment of benefits.
  • Utmost claims that you can transfer many existing investments into the plan, invest cash, or a combination of both, and complement this by adding from a wide range of underlying investments.

Tax implications:

As stated by Utmost, because Professional Portfolio allows access to an extensive range of underlying investments, it can be classified as a ‘Personal Portfolio Bond’ under UK legislation and this can have implications for your tax position particularly if you become resident in the UK.

However, you can manage this risk by restricting the selection of underlying assets to the choice of investment instruments available which are permissible for a ‘pooled product’. 

Utmost says that the tax consequences that apply to your Professional Portfolio Plan will depend on many factors including your personal circumstances and the tax laws in your current (or future) country of residence and/or domicile.

We would recommend reading the expert verdict section of this review and getting a Second Opinion from a regulated financial planner.

 

 

The Pros

> Part of a growing group

The Cons

> Risk of hidden commission
> Potentially inflexible
> Commonly mis-used
How can I apply for the Professional Portfolio Plan?

As per Utmost International, you need to consult a financial adviser who will give you the product details and the charges that would apply.

On the commencement of your plan, you will receive the terms and conditions details and other important documents in relation to your plan.

You should read these documents carefully and keep them in a safe place.

As soon as your plan is in place, you will be given details on how to register for the Online Service Centre which gives you instant, 24/7 access to up-to-date information on your plan, including plan details, plan statements, how your plan is performing and the ability to generate an historic valuation at plan level, including all investment instruments and the total value, at a previous point in time.

When did Generali Worldwide change to Utmost International?

This change happened after the announcement of the sale was made by Generali on July 19, 2018, when Utmost Wealth Solutions' parent company, Life Company Consolidation Group (LCCG), revealed it was going to acquire Generali's wealth-management and service units in Ireland and Guernsey for €409m.

Official news that the Utmost Group of Companies had completed the acquisition of Generali Worldwide and Ireland-based Generali Link became public on the 29th of February, 2019.

Generali Worldwide then rebranded as Utmost International.

Be wary of this product

I was encouraged to transfer my pension - told horror stories about leaving it in the UK, tax implications and maximum lifetime contribution amounts.

I was then told about the wonder of the portfolio plan - how you can wrap everything in it.

Sadly, my charges are staying the same and effectively ramping up as I access my capital! Be very very wary of this product and those selling it - find out what's in it for them as well as you.

Expert assessment of Utmost International Professional Portfolio Plan (formerly known as Generali Worldwide Professional Portfolio Bond)

When used correctly, the Utmost International Professional Portfolio Plan (formerly known as Generali Worldwide Professional Portfolio Bond) is a reasonable product, but perhaps lacks the transparency of some of the alternatives available, and is expensive.

Our advice is to only incept such a plan after receiving advice from a fully regulated financial planner and to opt for a cleanly priced option (this pays no commission to the agent).

You should therefore ensure there is no form of establishment charge or lock-in period (zero-exit penalties).

If you already have an Utmost International Professional Portfolio Plan (formerly known as Generali Worldwide Professional Portfolio Bond), and it is worth £250,000 or more, we recommend you seek a Second Opinion to ensure you are on track to get and keep the life you want.

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